By now, you’ve probably heard that the federal government has shut down. Of course, going into this, we could probably have guessed that the IRS and the EPA would close, and Yosemite National Park wouldn’t be staffed. We didn’t exactly expect an error message when trying to locate abducted children and the criminals who kidnapped them, but that’s beside the point. And given that most computers don’t have an elephant key, we’ll assume White House keyboards are still intact.
In case you haven’t been keeping up, a quick history lesson: the House of Representatives - currently Republican controlled - proposed a budget in the days leading up to October 1st. Unfortunately, they were selective about what they funded. In other words, healthcare wasn’t on the agenda, which was problematic, since that’s the president’s new toy, and taking away politicians’ new toys is generally a bad idea.
A second proposal suggested delaying healthcare for another year. In a conversation about the hiccups on the brand new website, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer seemed to agree. “If they had three years to get this ready,” he said; “if they weren't fully ready, they should accept the advice that a lot of Republicans are giving them, delay it another year, get it ready, and make sure it works.” Given that we’re talking about a site that provides propaganda and a calculator, I’m going to suggest that it might also take some extra time to implement a healthcare plan that covers 314 million people. But then, the government may turn out to be wildly efficient on this one. You never know.
The Affordable Care Act is law, they say. It can’t be changed. Like the Medes and the Persians, we’ll stand here and be eaten by lions, ‘cuz that’s how this works.
(I wouldn’t mention the implemented delays for businesses, or the fourteen wording changes, that have occurred since it was “signed into law.” It’s a sore point.)
As Thomas Sowell wisely reminds us, this was the reason for a government with three separate branches. They are checks and balances for each other. Our executive branch has decided that we need healthcare. Our judicial branch has upheld the validity of a legal requirement to enforce the purchase of healthcare.
And our legislative branch just stood up and said, “No.” Right or wrong, that means they’re doing exactly what they were organized to do: create balance.
Pointing fingers at a legislative branch that can’t “get it together” is like a pilot who blames his plane’s reaction to turbulence on the spinning instruments.
Or like a political opportunist who sees widespread disease in other countries, and blames it on the absence of an agenda that coerces healthy people into buying a product they don’t want, to remedy a problem American insurance can’t fix.
Oh, yeah. That’s what we’re doing.
Well, like I said. Just because government and efficiency have been mutually exclusive in the past is no guarantee that they won’t settle their differences before federal workers start perishing in the street. After all, at this point, adding money to the Affordable Care Act to pay for starvation treatment would be practically impossible.
By: Melissa Kirby